Some faculty wonder whether they should invest time and energy into improving the culture of a university. For Bradley Brummel, an associate professor in industrial/organizational psychology, there was no question.
Brummel earned his undergraduate degree from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he benefited from the small classes and engaged faculty. He went on to the University of Illinois for graduate work and was “dropped into teaching.” From that experience, he chose a professorial track.
He appreciates interdisciplinary work and leadership development and found that he could explore those opportunities at The University of Tulsa. “TU made it clear that service was expected,” Brummel said. “At TU, individuals’ opinions matter more. The faculty have access to the president and provost.”
Brummel says he was lucky to come to TU in 2008 with a large cohort of young, energized faculty. He organized an all-faculty basketball team for intramurals and hosted a junior faculty happy hour at his home to get to know his colleagues.
Those connections have paid dividends. Since then, he’s been involved in several interdisciplinary research projects across campus. Currently, he’s working with faculty in law and engineering as well as with established professors in his own department.
Brummel became involved in the Faculty Senate and volunteered for a leadership post when it was time for the College of Arts & Sciences to put forth leaders for the vice president and then president rotation. He has served as the organization’s president since July 2016.
Since then, TU has seen many changes, including budget cuts, a new president and the rollout of a strategic plan to increase enrollment and revenue. Brummel has helped university administrators avoid potential pitfalls that could have resulted in the loss of valued faculty.
Brummel walks a tightrope between being a strong voice for the faculty and holding administrators accountable while encouraging professors to support the university and participate in the process to set a new vision for TU. Giving interested faculty members the tools to be effective leaders is important to advancing TU’s mission, he said.
Whether it’s sitting down to lunch at the Faculty Club in the Student Union or collaborating on interdisciplinary research or attending a reception for future professors, Brummel said forging faculty bonds ultimately benefits the students and The University of Tulsa.
Though he’s fairly new to The University of Tulsa, Roger Kollock has already established himself as a leader, whether mentoring students in the classroom, spearheading research efforts in the lab or helping to guide meaningful campus initiatives.
Soon after he arrived in 2016, Kollock joined a group of university leaders tasked with putting together a five-year diversity plan for the university, an effort headed by Vice President of Diversity and Engagement Jackie Caldwell. He also chairs a subcommittee that proposed innovative ways to incentivize new programming and initiatives to enhance diversity and inclusion as the plan is implemented. “Diversity and inclusion are important to me,” he says. “I want to be at the table for those discussions.”
Kollock has also taken advantage of opportunities to lead in his research efforts. As an athletic training student at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, where he played football, Kollock took an interest in sports medicine. During his doctoral studies at Old Dominion University, he discovered a new passion: Working with tactical athletes, including military personnel, firefighters and police officers.
“These professions call for workers to be in top physical condition to perform their jobs and minimize the risk of injury,” Kollock explains. He says his research efforts, which focus on understanding work environments and corresponding injury risk factors for tactical athletes, present the opportunity to lead through innovation. “Sometimes it’s a matter of looking at the data in another way, or showing a novel approach to reducing injuries.”
“Another piece to establishing yourself as a leader is how well you translate your research into clinical practice or practical application in the workplace
“Another piece to establishing yourself as a leader is how well you translate your research into clinical practice or practical application in the workplace,” he continues. “How does it change policy or training standards?”
Kollock didn’t waste time in seeking such an opportunity in Tulsa. He’s been working with the Tulsa Fire Department to develop a screening program that will help identify firefighters most at risk for musculoskeletal injury. Practitioners can use the information from the screening program to employ corrective exercises or other intervention strategies to reduce risk for injury.
“It’s great when groups in the community can collaborate with universities, and I’m excited about TU working hand-in-hand with the Tulsa Fire Department to develop this program,” said Kollock. “TFD is one of a small group of fire departments across the country leading the way in using research to reduce the rate of musculoskeletal injuries.”